Looking back on the past 12 months as we say goodbye to the 10's, I'm blown away by the amount of incredible new songs, musicians, interviews and memorable live performances that have crossed and expanded my musical horizons.
Keeping in the tradition of spotlighting a few of the most memorable tracks of the year, I've assembled this year's Top 20 list. It's becoming more and more difficult with each passing year to narrow this list down to just 20 songs - I can easily think of another 20 outstanding songs that could accompany the list below.
KÅRP "Kuiper Belt" - with its gorgeous and anthemic metaphor for cosmic co-existence, Swedish "death disco" outfit KÅRP sets its sights on the Kuiper asteroid belt, a celestial model for a world without walls and barriers.
LOVE IN OCTOBER "Surf Rock City" - killer guitar hooks, lo-fi vocals, infectious chorus and a New Wave- meets melodic Surf Punk soundscape that'll take you to the coast.
HAZLETT "Monsters" - pure indie pop perfection, delicate acoustic treatment and emotive vocals. On life's road of unexpected twists and turns, "are we monsters?"
WHITE LIES "Tokyo" - weaving bold, 80's-sounding synths into the mix, "Tokyo" is nothing short of massive.
O.M.D. "Don't Go" - at 40 years young, these UK synth-pop/electronic pioneers clearly still know how to craft the perfect synth-pop anthem.
CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM "Headlights" - a beautiful, acoustic post-breakup ballad about emerging strong with one's heart singing in a different key.
EXNATIONS "The Knife" - where 2019 started for this Brooklyn electronic-indie trio. Can't get enough of the yearning, angst-filled vocals and anthemic vibe of "The Knife." But don't stop here - check out their Pink Haze EP for more.
MORNING MYTH "Human Love" - featuring lush waves of magnificent, shimmering guitars and exquisite, blissful vocals - in the magical style of a modern-day Cocteau Twins.
KATEY BROOKS "In Your Arms" - soulful choral vocals, warm instrumentation and ethereal soundscapes on this moving, heart-on-sleeve ballad. Check out Katey's breakthrough album Revolute! for more musical wonders.
BROOK "Diamond Days" - taken from Brook's debut album Built You For Thought, subtly-textured electronics and magical, spellbinding vocals on "Diamond Days" will make you think you've unearthed a long lost synth gem from Eurythmics.
EIGHTY NINETY "Got Your Message" - Brooklyn-based duo of Abner and Harper James graced our ears this year with yet another cleverly-crafted, indie pop gem. Massive-sounding drums on the infectious chorus really cranks this one up on the 'danceable' meter.
DETER "Telling Myself" - taken from this emerging band's debut album, Wither & Fade, syncopated guitar riffs and dark, mesmerizing vocals on album highlight "Telling Myself" paint a brooding and atmospheric soundscape reminiscent of iconic Joy Division.
AURORA "The River" - ultra-smooth, pulsing, synth-driven masterpiece from this Norwegian singer-songwriter that reminds us that it's OK to cry.
SOAK "Déjà Vu" - "nothing's new, déjà vu, déjà vu" - one of the catchiest, most melodic tunes I've heard this year.
DNDR "Fell Out" - vibrant, electronic soundscape with soaring, melodic vocals and retro-sounding synths. I'm singing along anytime this song is on the playlist.
VARGAS & LAGOLA "Forgot To Be Your Lover" - the latest single from this Swedish dynamic songwriting duo - summery indie pop, with a hint of 70's acoustic rock in the mix.
MIDDLE YOUTH "Heaven Is a Feeling" - if the thundering, pulsing synth doesn't hook you at the start, then the infectious chorus and raw, honest lyrics of this debut single from Middle Youth (a.k.a., Harper James of Eighty Ninety fame) definitely will pull you into this brilliant track.
LISA MISKOVSKY feat. ANREAS MOE "I Won't Be Hard To Find" - "just a little bit closer to me, I'll leave the light on for you" - sounding like three gorgeous ballads weaved into one, this beautiful duet between Swedish songstress Lisa Miskovsky and singer-songwriter Andreas Moe touches the heartstrings.
J GRGRY "Open Roads" - the quintessential soundtrack to the quest for serenity, acceptance and exciting new adventures, Joe Gregory's emotive, soaring vocals narrate the journey and love anthem that is "Open Roads."
STEPPES "Change Your Mind" - Michigan-based indie band Steppes graced our ears with its energized, ultra-polished indie pop gem that turned out to be their untimely swan song.